The meadow’s ridge hunches its back against the sky like a brindled dog
ready to shake itself dry of last night’s storm. Alfalfa, oat, and fescue wag long green tongues
at fog’s condensation, their edges sharp as razor blades. No footpath
remains here past the stiff bristles who bent once under pressure, yet
now stand upright. Even the wind staggers through in measured exhalations,
combing cornrows across a field that stubbornly pulls itself back
into the fodder’s tangled mop. A man could lie here, flat on his back—seeking perfection—
until the crow came to render Last Rites and cornflower sprouted from his eye sockets.
Go ahead. Ask. What is the skull, emptied of emotion? A round stone waiting
for the slow barge of a cow’s misstep to send it spinning into the catch pond like a world
gone mad. Ask me and I’ll tell you the soul waits for Jesus to descend on a cloud, even
as a heifer pierces the pond’s cloudy eye with her hooves, urinates in the water as she drinks.